Okay! As of this afternoon she is running great. Still need to take for a test ride (raining again the moment) to confirm but I think I should be good to go.
What I did:
1) Looked closer at my carb set up as it was. It turns out the inlet side rubber hose that slides over the carb was kinked a little and wasn’t actually properly sealed off (whoops).
2) I looked closer at the choke cable. It turns out either me (or optimistically the precious owner) has broke the plastic choke nut. It still seats the little choke needle and spring okay, but I think there’s a good chance I hadn’t properly seated it previously (much like the rubber inlet hose). I ordered a replacement brass that’s on its way.
3) I pulled all the vacuum lines, fuel lines, rubber hoses, etc and blew them clear with compressed air and made sure they weren’t blocked (also measure sure petcock let fuel flow w vacuum). Also checked the plastic elbows per advice to make sure they were okay!
4) I pulled the carb and instead of just doing a quick little clean I tore it all down, soaked in carb cleaner overnight, and brushed clean, blew passages clear, etc. One thing I discovered was that one of my jets had quite a few clogged orifices, despite me having “cleaned it” before. Also checked float height, which was good to go.
5) reinstalled carb. Made sure to seat hoses properly, etc. managed to get choke installed with my half broken plastic nut, planning to replace when I get the brass one.
6) tried to start. Per recommendations above, I tried opening petcock, counting to 3, and starting. This didn’t work (at first) and my battery was struggling, so I walked away and gave it some time. I did check however to make sure fuel made it into the float bowl from those few seconds. Good to go. Also checked and left petcock open and tried starting for a few more minutes and this time carb was no longer overflowing.
7) Gave it some time, tried starting again (full choke) voila! Perked right up and ran well. Let it run for a few minutes, up down throttle, etc. The only “off” thing is that it may be running a little rich, but I’m going to do a test ride before I move any further.
Just wanted to share in case others run into the same issues. Long story short: bad install on my half, could’ve been one of a few factors, slowing down and fully cleaning and trying again did the trick!
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